In keeping with my New Year’s plan to read more and work on down-sizing, I’ve been going through my bookshelves and reading what I have tucked away, then passing it on to someone who may enjoy it. This week’s entry is Cherry Cheesecake Murder, by Joanne Fluke. It’s one of the Hannah Swensen Mysteries set in small town Minnesota. If you’ve read any of my reviews for John Sandford books, you already know I have a soft spot for books set in Minnesota. Fluke does a wonderful job of capturing many of the idiosyncracies of Minnesota life, such as the custom of many older folks of Scandinavian heritage to add coffee grounds to the coffee pot through the week without dumping the old. It reminded me so much of my maternal grandmother I had to smile.
While the series is described on the cover as “A Hannah Swensen Mystery with Recipes,” the books are really more Hannah Swensen recipe books with a little mystery thrown in. Most of the book contains some of the finest writing I’ve read about food. Unfortunately, most of it is food I can’t eat, but I do enjoy the description. In this volume, a Hollywood director who is fond of cherry cheesecake kills himself in front of cast, crew and townsfolk with a gun which was supposed to have only blanks. This storyline was a little too predictable for me. There is a continuing storyline throughout the series about who Hannah will marry, the town cop or the town dentist – there’s no resolution this time either.
In short, great recipes, predictable mystery – buy it for the recipes!